Proverbs 31...Ephesians 5...the marriage counselor...the pastor...then mentor...the blog lady...the friends...my parents...yours...pop culture...Karen Kingsbury...Pinterest.....
They all give advice, think they have the best plan, set standards and expectations, raise the bar, and make it all look super easy. They tell you fairy tales are real, and you are not enough if your life isn't one. Who knows, maybe there are real people out there living their real fairy tales where everyone is perfect and their issues are shallow and easily resolved, where the happy ending is too easy to predict. Maybe that happens, somewhere, for some people. You know what though, I sure don't live in one of those, but for some reason, I find myself measuring my success as a wife, friend, daughter, sister, teacher, etc. according to everyone else's happily ever after. I see people living these perfect lived that look so flawless, so effortless, so painless, so...heartless. And I so easily let myself ignore the reality that most people don't broadcast their B-Roll to the rest of us.
They don't air their flaws and imperfections, hang out their dirty laundry. We can't compare ourselves; I can't compare myself to other peoples' final product, and ignore the rest of their writing process. I ignorantly and naively presume that because I haven't read the rough draft then one must not exist! I presume in selfish blindness that I must be the only who is still on the editing step, and whose draft is covered with red marks and corrections. Covered with things to work on, words to change; covered with stains and smudges, scribbles and scuffs. I don't realize that in the proofing, that is where the real growth begins to be evident. That is where one begins to realize that they might just be on to something. That even though they have made a mistake, spelled something wrong, mis-worded a phrase or two, or done something out of order, that in addressing those errors and correcting or changing them, growth occurs.
It is in the realization and identification and then correction that true beauty and potential are demonstrated! It is not in the final draft, but in crumpled coffee-stained copy after copy. Anyone of us can print off a fresh, "final" draft, deceivingly clean of stains and errors, but it takes true courage, vulnerability, and trust to share the mess with other people. If you are willing to be honest, we are all a mess of mistakes do-overs, only some people are open to to living with their mess visible to others. I really think if we all shared a little more of our rough draft and a little less of the 12-point, Times New Roman seemingly "perfect" version, I think we might do a little less comparing and envying and a lot more loving, encouraging, and walking together with each other in step through life. I think if I quit trying to live a fairy tale, and embraced my own story, I would find it a lot easier to be content and joyful.